Case Study: How Learning Leaders are using Obviously AI

Use Cases

Watch our chat between Tom Cronin, Chief of Staff at LearningLeaders and Nirman Dave as they discuss automation, AI, predictive analytics and how LearningLeaders have integrated this into their platform.

Nirman 
Well, Tom, thank you so much for jumping on the call with us. Very excited to get to know you and learn a little bit about your experience with Obviously AI. So, to get started, before everything else, I'd love to learn a little bit about what is Learning Leaders and the kind of your vision for the world with Learning Leaders?

Tom
 


Yeah, absolutely. And thanks again for having us on, Nirman. So Learning Leaders started in 2014, and we're speech and debate education specialists. Our vision for the world is a world where everyone is heard, respected and understood. So, it always has been a vision and I'm sure it always will be. And then our promise for parents is that if your students are working with LearningLeaders, we can guarantee that our students will then consistently communicate with confidence. So that's kind of for the individual students, but our larger vision is for everyone to be heard, respected and understood.

Nirman
That's awesome. That's very delightful to hear. And can you talk a little bit about your role on the team today? 

Tom

Yeah, so I'm currently the Chief of Staff for Learning Leaders. So, I work very closely with the founder and CEO Mike Houghy. A previous role of mine was in data analytics, so I think that's why I've become now gotten the chance to work closely with you all at Obviously AI. But yeah, currently Chief of Staff. 


Nirman
Got it. Cool. And what does your typical day to day look like? 

Tom
So for me, I think the nature of the role means it can differ a lot from day to day. But my priorities would be managing the CRM data collection for any project we need, marketing campaigns, and then working with external partners such as yourself. The cool thing is it has data, so the CRM is all about customer data, with marketing I'm looking at the analytics of the campaign so it all feeds through that and that's why working with you clears my head, which is amazing. 

Nirman
That's awesome. So jumping into that a little bit. Can you talk a little bit about what you were looking to predict when we got started and why was that important for you? 

Tom
Yeah, I think to tell you the truth, we weren't as laser-focused on the reason for it as we are currently. When we started working with you guys, we were like, OK, it would be great to look for key metrics within education such as retention or churn, which I think you guys are very well-versed, which is amazing. But then once we're digging through the data with you and Poulomi, we realised that we're sitting on a bit of a goldmine of student feedback, skill data, and we knew we had it, but I think at the time, we weren't as clued into the predictive power that it had. So it was only when we started searching with you guys that we realised, okay, actually perhaps this should be the main focus and this is what we're looking to predict. We're going to be looking at student outcomes and competitive outcomes based on their skill feedback and their ability to obtain these skills that became a North Star. 

Nirman
Got it. Awesome, awesome. And so, when you started working with Obviously AI, what made you want to work with Obviously AI when you started? 

Tom
Yeah, I think it was Mike, founder and CEO again came across you guys, but as soon as he introduced me to you all, it was a no-brainer because, as I mentioned at the start, I'd worked in data analytics before my current role. So I'm very well versed in the pains of machine learning. But now, working with you guys, it's clear as you like, you make the outcomes so much easier. When it was introduced to me, it was an easy sale. Working with you all has definitely saved me a few grey hairs, but having that partner that we can rely on and working with you guys week in or week out makes it so much easier. It's not a pain anymore. It just really benefits our everyday workings and at the end of the day, it benefits our students and that's the most important part. So that's what I think it was to you guys. 


Nirman
Absolutely. Well, very excited to work with you on this as well. And can you talk a little bit about your experience working with Obviously AI, with the platform, with the team? What that has been like for you? 

Tom
Yeah, it's been plain sailing. A the start going into the initial call that we all had I was still a bit uncertain as to how it was going to play out. We had all the data, we weren't sure what we're going to be doing with it or what insights we wanted to gain from it. But the onboarding process we had with you was very comforting. It was you and Mike, sitting down, going through the data. You just instilled a lot of confidence in where we were and where we could get to. So that's what I appreciated about the onboarding. I think it was a few calls over a couple of weeks, and then before we knew it, we were up and running, and we're getting our first insights from our first data set. So that hit us before we knew it, which was amazing. And since then, if there's been an issue, you guys are a call away or a message on slack away, which is amazing. And then we've been currently working about for automations which is really really cool. So we're going to be streaming all our live data from our platform straight on to your guys and making sure our predictions are coming off pretty instantaneously. So that's cool. So yeah, I appreciate that. 

Nirman
That's awesome. And, you know, what are these predictions that you've now made with Obviously AI and kind of the insights that you've got? What does that enable you to do today?

Tom
I think it enables us as a business to present ourselves and show customers that we take data-driven decisions and coaching really seriously and we're constantly making choices and decisions based on the data we have. So I think that's a really important part for us to show as a business of what we're doing. But I think more importantly, it comes to how it's affecting our students and how it enables them and their learning progression. So I think the aspect of education feedback is one of the most important things that students can get from it. They're getting education without feedback, then I don't see them progress fast. Otherwise. In the past we've always given feedback, but it's never been quite as specific. As we spoke about before Nirman, now, we can give students concrete ways for them to improve themselves in order to obtain skills and how those skills can then get them to competitive success, which we consider as like mastery or effective communication. So being able to give these students these nuggets of insight and then seeing them progress and learn and succeed is invaluable. 


Nirman
Yeah, I can imagine that that's kind of huge because the students now have a more crystal clear direction on what they can do to improve and that directly impact their lives, so that's pretty solid. 

Tom
Absolutely, yes, before we could say to students and it's pretty easy for a coach to say “oh, you should improve on your relevance of this argument.” And the student would be like, “okay, but how and where will that get me?” Whereas now we can say if you could do this by this amount it'll give you this extra chance of winning at a competition and I think that's the goal for the students. 

Nirman

Alright, Tom, so can you talk a little bit about how working with Obviously AI has impacted your business? Either in terms money, time, or energy saved?

Tom

Yeah, a hundred percent. I think easiest one for us to measure immediately would be time and energy saved. Like I mentioned in the start of this call, the previous position I had was in data analytics for LearningLeaders, and I remember times I was pulling my hair out as it would be taking 2 weeks to train or even test a model, and then to no avail. Whereas now on the platform for Obviously AI, it will take me 5 seconds to train and test a model. I don’t understand how you guys do it. But, yeah, from 2 weeks to 5 seconds. No one can turn that down so, it’s really really cool.


Nirman

Awesome. That's awesome. And overall, moving forward, what is your vision with the learning leaders platform and the product with these insights? 

Tom

Yeah, so with these insights. Well, for platform in general, sorry, we just want a place where students can log on and a few clicks they're in a classroom with world class coaches for speech and debates. And then there are other aspects, we have resource libraries where students can learn from. But the skill progression and the feedback system is also a part of our platform and all places that we're collecting and analyzing lives there, and it means it's 24/7 readily available for students to log in and view their learning progression, so they'll be able to see x percentage of which skill they're exhibiting and not exhibiting. And then outside of that, we can then take that data from the students and again give them concrete recommendations. This the instills more confidence within their competitive success and when they're in the competitions knowing they have this feedback behind them just gives them the extra risk work and confidence to achieve what they want. 


Nirman


Got it. And so, this was a prediction that we did on student success. How do you plan to use predictive analytics in the future? Any other kind of use cases or predictions that you have in the roadmap? 

Tom  

Yeah, for sure. I touched on earlier retention and sharing, that's very important in education in particular because if your students are retaining them, obviously there's an issue they're facing in day to day. So we definitely want to make sure we can fill that crack and make sure they're doing the best they can. The data that we are currently analyzes all from competitions, but now we're going to be having a live stream of in a classroom data. So in the students weekly classes, coaches will be filling out feedback and skill data and that will be going directly to our platform and then obviously directly to you guys to have the automation. So it's going to be really cool that students will have a class that they will go to a platform and then we'll get real life predictions as to like their competitive success. So that's, I don't know, actually saying it out loud is actually very cool. And then I think the final one is perhaps speech text data is not something we're currently looking at, but because of our online product now we're going to be having large banks of students actual speech to text data and we'll definitely be dugging into that. 


Nirman
Yeah. That is awesome. That's awesome. Very excited for that. And kind of having that automation set up like super, super excited on that front. So I'm excited to see kind of how that kind of plays out with the students and kind of how it impacts the platform. So thanks for sharing. And one last question, you know, is Obviously AI a good partner to work with. Would you recommend it to other teams? 

Tom
100%, Nirman. It's been a pleasure. And Paloumi, if she's listening to this, it's been a real seamless. Like I said, the onboarding process easy, done with it, and then we're looking at insights before we expected this. The weekly calls we've been having, I'm not proud to say because I'm a data analytics background and mathematics background, but then when I have a question that could be considered obvious, whatever, you guys are always willing to spend time to answer it really detailed answers too, so it just makes it so much easier. I'm constantly learning from your answers as well, so I feel like I'm getting a free lesson in data science, which is amazing. So, yeah, definitely recommend it to all the teams this year. For sure.

Nirman
That's awesome. Well, thanks so much Tom for taking the time. And yeah, thanks for being here.

Tom
Thank you, Nirman. It's been a pleasure. 

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